Saturday, 1 January 2011

UK Blogger Albums Of 2010 Poll Results

For six years now the superbly intelligent and literate Sweeping The Nation blog has been running the UK Bloggers Album of the Year poll, with each blog submitting (or in some cases Sweeping The Nation filching) their top ten LP’s of the year for some sort of points scoring contest that smooths out any idiosyncrasies of potential and arguable ‘poor taste.' For example the Breaking More Waves choice of Ellie Goulding in the top 10 was hardly likely to be replicated by the rest of the blogosphere – mainstream commercial female fronted pop music albums have nearly always received short change in end of year polls from anything outside ‘true pop’ blogs.

The poll gives us a good aggregation of what LP’s have been collectively floating UK bloggers boats over the past 12 months. The list shows some of the differences in UK bloggers tastes to our American cousins over the pond – for example there is very little hip hop on the list – but then maybe that’s because of the sample of blogs chosen to compile the list.

From the Breaking More Waves perspective it’s also interesting to see where we fall in line with our UK music blog peer group and it seems there’s a fair degree of commonality (Ellie Goulding being an exception) with 7 of our 10 albums of the year featuring in the Top 75 and 3 of our 10 being in the Top 10. The full list of 75 albums can be found at Sweeping the Nation – the link is below. We raised a little cheer when we saw that Hurts came above Crystal Castles and Gorillaz in the poll, were a little disappointed to find that Stornoway haven’t picked up the love from bloggers that we hoped they would and are startled to see that Midlake’s preposterous sleep inducing dirge of prog-folk got any votes at all, but that is the beauty of opinion and taste.

Click here to see the top 75 albums in full from the Sweeping The Nation poll.

Here’s a summary of our top ten which we voted for with links to each individual blog, followed by a couple of tracks from Sweeping The Nation’s own number 1 album of the year (and number 10 in the poll) Romance Is Boring by Los Campesinos!

The National – High Violet – Our #1 Blogger Poll #1

We said “Subtle and perfectly executed musicianship and songs.”

Hurts – Happiness – Our #2 Blogger Poll #28

We said “In a world where 'alternative' often means recording some fuzzy guitar and wailing vocals and doing a blurred photo shoot, by doing something so uncool and opposite to what most music fans expect, Hurts are in an odd way a real alternative.”

Sleigh Bells – Treats – Our #3 Blogger Poll #8

We said “A journey of youthful noise, out on the town, with its knickers off, ready to shag against a wall.”

Caitlin Rose – Own Side Now – Our #4 Blogger Poll #12

We said “Own Side Now is rooted in tradition and is hardly ground breaking, but that doesn't matter when it’s bedecked with this much quality.”

Stornoway – Beachcomber’s Windowsill – Our #5 Blogger Poll N/A

We said “If you’re feeling bad about life this cold winter, put on Beachcomber’s Windowsill; it will warm your soul.”

Zola Jesus – Stridulum II – Our #6 Blogger Poll #39

We said “A doomsday pop record full of emotion, vulnerability and accessible songs.”

Laura Marling – I Speak Because I Can – Our #7 Blogger Poll #3

We said “Musically evocative.”

Ellie Goulding – Lights – Our #8 Blogger Poll N/A

We said “Lights is a quality pop album that stands up to the weight of hype.”

Salem – King Night – Our #9 Blogger Poll N/A

We said “Like a druggy Halloween screw in a graveyard”

Perfume Genius – Learning – Our #10 Blogger Poll #36

We said “It’s the angsty, fragile and rawness of its whole that makes it such a brilliantly affecting album.”

There Are Listed Buildings by Los Campesinos!

Romance Is Boring by Los Campesinos!

The Sea Is A Good Place To Think Of The Future by Los Campesinos!

Thanks to Simon at Sweeping The Nation for doing such a good job in compiling all the results again. Make sure you pay a visit to his blog.


Simon said...

Cheers for the plug. Even though High Violet ran away with it and the top three was pretty much set in stone early on it was a really intriguing poll this year, about ten albums were in contention for fourth and fifth at one late stage, and then there were anomolies like Caitlin Rose (which wasn't far off the top ten, and while critically acclaimed at the time I was surprised by how many lists it turned up in compared to something like Villagers, which got a few mentions but not in the prominent positions its publicity at the time suggested) and the Scottish influence - did you even know Kid Canaveral had an album out? Yours was the only vote King Night got, which surprised me.

Looking forward to more good stuff from you in 2011 - I'm revamping STN slightly too in a more song-based direction, as will be revealed in a couple of days, and there may be another crowdsourced feature later in the year too.

Breaking More Waves Blog said...

Cheers Simon. More to the point (hangs head in shame) I don't even know who Kid Canaveral are - just showing that not every music blogger can keep up with everything.

I'm fairly shocked about nobody else liking Salem. I've had 2 emails / tweets from regular readers thanking me for putting it on my list as it was their favourite of the year. I guess it's a very specific audience though.

Looking forward to all future posts on STN.

Scryst said...

Robin are you now admitting that your love of Ellie Goulding was actually poor taste :) ???

Breaking More Waves Blog said...


:) 'arguably poor taste' - I would argue not.

When someone suggests that someone has 'good taste' it normally just means similar to their own - or 'poor taste' different to their own. The point I was making is that any poll vote is going to iron out the oddities - in my case Ellie Goulding's LP choice.

Not good or bad taste necessarily - just different to some others - anyone who thinks their taste is superior to someone else's probably lacks the intelligence to realise that not everyone sees the world in the same way as them. If you like pizza and I don't who has the 'best' taste - it depends on who you're asking and their personal preferences.

saamFG said...

I'm not sure how much you can read into these collated polls (and that's saying that as someone who just did a collated film blogger poll) but I'd suggest the appearance of Marina & The Diamonds at #54 and Robyn at #22 suggests that bloggers simply didn't think the Ellie Goulding album was that great. I don't really think it's a question of elitist taste (or supposedly "poor taste" on your behalf Robin!), just preference.

Breaking More Waves Blog said...

Fair point Saam and I'm sure you are right - most bloggers just didn't like Ms Gouldings LP that much, but I stand by my point that generally mainstream commercial female fronted pop music doesn't get a lot of love in end of year polls - looking at the UK blogger poll for example the % of such acts on the list is relatively small compared to say male white indie bands. Likewise hip-hop is not particularly well represented. As you say this is probably because of preference rather than any true elitism.